England fans have been told not to risk purchasing exorbitantly priced Cricket World Cup final tickets from unofficial resale sites as they are likely to be cancelled – leaving them out of pocket and unable to gain access to Sunday’s match.
The warning came from the International Cricket Council, who told the Guardian that it was clamping down on sites such as StubHub and Viagogo, where tickets for the final against New Zealand have already been sold for more than £2,000.
The ICC said it was also taking pre-emptive action by cancelling tickets offered for resale before they are sold – including those of a fan who had offered a £295 ticket for £16,000.
Steve Elworthy, the managing director of the Cricket World Cup, said it was "very disappointing" to see tickets on secondary ticketing websites selling at "vastly inflated prices".
“We are doing our utmost to limit the secondary ticket market, however, a lack of legislation in the UK means we are restricted in the preventative action we can take to stop fans being ripped off and forced to pay over the odds,” he added. “We have been and will continue to cancel the accounts and tickets we see being sold on secondary sites.
“The only way fans can guarantee their ticket will be valid is to buy it from the official ticket resale platform, which allows fans unable to attend the remaining matches to sell to other genuine fans at face value. Anyone purchasing tickets from an unauthorised source, either online or in person, faces the risk of being left out of pocket and unable to enter the venue.”
The ICC has announced that it will release an additional 200 tickets for Sunday’s World Cup final via their ticketing website – and said that there may be more that come on sale as supporters have until midday on Saturday to give any unwanted tickets back.
However the ICC has played down suggestions that Lord’s may not be full given that nearly half the 30,000 tickets were originally sold to Indian fans.
The Guardian understands from the ICC that while 41 per cent of the ticket holders are registered as India supporters, almost all that number are UK citizens and they are fully expected to turn up. Meanwhile 45 per cent of those owning tickets say they are England fans.
England are heavy favourites to win their first World Cup, however the ECB have been tight-lipped on whether there will be an open-top bus parade if Eoin Morgan’s side emerge victorious. An ECB spokesperson refused to be drawn on the issue and said they were focusing only on the final.
Meanwhile bookmakers are expecting close to £100m worth of bets to be staked on this sporting weekend, which also includes the Wimbledon finals, British Grand Prix and the July Cup at Newmarket.
"We are going to wake up on Saturday morning to one of the greatest weekends of sport ever hosted in the UK and punters are expected to turn out in force and stake towards £100m on the action," said Harry Aitkenhead of Coral bookmakers.